Fong to leave Butler at end of academic year

Butler University President Bobby Fong announced at 1:30 p.m. today that he will be leaving Butler at the end of the academic year to accept the presidency at Ursinus College.

Ursinus is a small liberal arts school of 1,700 students in Collegeville, Pa. After reviewing more than 100 applications, the board of trustees at and the selection committee at Ursinus chose Fong to take the position.

“Fong comes to Ursinus with more than a decade of experience in a small-school setting, which is something the board and I have been looking for in the candidates,” Spencer Foreman, chairman of the board of trustees at Ursinus said in the announcement.

During his time at Butler, Fong has doubled the endowment of the university and has balanced the budget. He also led a record-setting human capital campaign that raised $154 million for Butler.

“Ursinus sought a president to lead it in a strategic planning process, a comprehensive fundraising campaign, and an effort to raise its profile in the local community and nationally,” Fong said in a press release. “Butler gave me experience in these areas.”

Fong thanked the students, faculty, and staff at Butler for the way he has seen the university change since he took office in 2001.

“[Butler] has taken shape because of the dedication, commitment and hard work of so many people here,” Fong said. “Thank you for all you’ve done and will continue to do for Butler University.”

Members of the Butler University Board of Trustees praised Fong for the accomplishments that Butler has experienced during his time as president.

“Butler is a better university than it was 10 years ago thanks to the leadership of Bobby Fong,” John Hargrove, chair of the Butler University Board of Trustees said in a press release. “All of us wish Bobby well in his new endeavors and we sincerely thank him for his dedication as our president.”

Ursinus began the search for a president in April, after the former president, John Strassburger, stepped down. Strassburger died in September after a yearlong battle with prostate cancer.

“We lost a dear friend and leader, and no one was confident that we could find someone with the depth and knowledge like him,” Foreman said. “I now know that we have.”

No word about who will take the presidency next year at Butler has been released to the public.

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